Novak Djokovic has been the king of the ATP World Tour in 2015 and the World No. 1 would hoist a ninth trophy in his sparkling season, defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2, 6-4 at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.
Djokovic further extended his lead atop the Emirates ATP Race To London standings, eclipsing the 14,000-point threshold to bring his haul to 14,285. The Serb brings home a third Shanghai title in four years, having defeated Andy Murray in the 2012 final and Juan Martin del Potro a year later. The win gives him 25 trophies at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level, pulling to within two of Rafael Nadal’s record of 27. Overall, it was the Serb’s 57th victory in tour-level finals.
Djokovic improved to 14-6 against Tsonga in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry, exacting revenge after the Frenchman dominated their most recent meeting on the hard courts of Toronto last year. In addition, he extended his ruthless run in finals on Chinese soil to a combined 10-0 with the 78-minute win. He fired 18 winners, including three aces, while converting on four of 13 break chances.
“Today the key was to get as many serves back into play to Jo because he has one of the biggest serves in the game,” said Djokovic. “He has shown that in the second set, with some break points early in the set. He came up with some aces, some big serves.
“Generally I felt always in control of the match. I felt like I’ve done everything right. I’ve won many of my service games very comfortably. I didn’t allow him to get into the rhythm, get into the match. Today’s match, and overall the tournament, it’s gone incredibly well for me.”
The Belgrade native would bump his overall winning streak to 17 straight matches, capturing 22 consecutive sets during his dominant run. He was in cruise control from the first ball on Sunday, breaking Tsonga in the opening game of the match as the Frenchman netted a backhand volley. The World No. 1 raced to a double break lead at 3-0, but would hand the break back in the next game.
That would prove to be his lone hiccup. Tsonga clawed back from a 0/40 hole, saving four set points, at 5-1, but Djokovic would claim the first set a game later. He would relinquish just one point on serve in the second, securing the decisive break in the ninth game and serving it out to love for the victory, turning aside a spirited effort by the Frenchman.
“The first set went quick,” Tsonga said. “It’s not easy to stop him. He is really consistent on his return. Today I didn’t serve well enough, especially in the first set. After that, in the second, I served a little bit better, and it gave me the opportunity to have a chance on his serve. But finally I was not able to do it, and he broke me at 4-all.
“I’m very satisfied. To come back at your best level, it’s always a long process. I’m happy today to be back really close to the Top 10. Like I said just before, it gave me energy to continue to work hard and try to achieve other good things.”
Tsonga, who was bidding to hoist his third Masters 1000 trophy in four finals, fell to 12-10 in tour-level title matches. He takes home $448,000 and 600 points in the Emirates ATP Race To London, having vaulted to No. 9 in the standings with his run to the final.